FGV?s influence is increasing outside Brazil, International Relations Center Coordinator evaluates

12 April 2013

Public policies nowadays involve a large number of domestic and international actors seeking to influence them - such as international organizations, foreign governments, interest groups, experts, academics and knowledge centers. And it is in this scenario that Fundação Getulio Vargas is increasingly becoming more important. FGV's role as a think tank grows continuously in various areas, such as economic, social and public safety areas. And the same goes for foreign policy, says Professor Elena Lazarou, coordinator of the Center for International Relations at FGV (CRI), based at CPDOC.


Elena succeeds Matias Spektor in the coordination of the center, created in 2009 with a focus on theory and history of International Relations, foreign policy analysis and Brazilian foreign policy. Gradually we are expanding our studies to new areas. We created the disciplines 'Europe in the World', 'BRICS in the World' and 'Middle East' and researched Nuclear Policy, emerging powers and BRICS, Global Governance and European Policy, says the professor. The subjects are taught in the Complementary Training offered by CRI initially to undergraduate students from FGV in Rio de Janeiro and also in São Paulo since 2011. This semester, in Rio de Janeiro, we are placing an emphasis on the historical component, and the next module will have a greater political focus. In São Paulo, we expanded our activities and we also offer courses in English - something we want to happen in a similar way in Rio de Janeiro.

However, the performance of CRI goes far beyond the chairs of Complementary Studies and the MBA in International Relations, contributing to the consolidation of FGV as a policy making player, in Brazil and abroad. We publish articles in newspapers and in policy institutes and we participate, along with other researchers from FGV, in international forums, meetings and gatherings like the World Economic Forum, the EU-Brazil Summit and the BRICS Summit.  Elena further highlights events organized by the center itself and partnerships with other institutions. We organize meetings at FGV with international institutions that wish to understand the Brazilian foreign policy, such as other think tanks and international organizations. In this aspect, we work with Nato Defense College and the European Commission, for example. Our goal is to instigate a debate on global politics in international relations, and increase the impact of the Brazilian presence and FGV on these events, she says.


FGV in the world


An increasingly complex world, in which decision making is not solely in the hands of the state, makes think tanks such as FGV to become increasingly relevant not only for governments, but also for the general public. Centres of knowledge lead and synthesize researches with the aim of solving political problems, not only to promote the advancement of academic knowledge and/or theoretical debates. At the same time, they also inform the public the debates on politics, operating as a bridge between them and decision makers, especially in the age of social media, explains the professor.


The fact shows the importance of the press and academic publications in the formation of public and specialized opinion, establishing a way of measuring the influence of FGV. In Foreign Policy, the area of ??greatest interest to the Centre for International Relations, the applied influence grows as our researchers publish more on Brazilian and international media about issues involving Foreign Policy and Global Governance, and as the number of foreigners thinks tanks and international players who seek our opinion through policy papers grows, she says, emphasizing the interdisciplinarity of the studies and the diversity of expertise of FGV researchers as an advantage.

Elena Lazarou also observed that in 2012, FGV was the first knowledge center of South America to meet with global think tanks in a meeting in the United States, conducted in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania. The CPDOC and the CRI work together with the President of FGV in these terms, and I think this fact is a major indicator of the growing influence of FGV as a think tank outside Brazil, she concludes.


Click here and learn more about the Center for International Relations of FGV.

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